Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 60 Number 2: 115-120 - August 1998

A publication of the National Speleological Society

An Electromagnetic Geophysical Survey of the Freshwater Lens of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico
Ronald T. Richards, Joseph W. Troester and Myrna I. Martínez


An electromagnetic reconnaissance of the freshwater lens of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico was conducted with both terrain conductivity (TC) and transient electromagnetic (TEM) surface geophysical techniques. These geophysical surveys were limited to the southern and western parts of the island because of problems with access and cultural metallic objects such as reinforced concrete roadways on the eastern part of the island. The geophysical data were supplemented with the location of a freshwater spring found by scuba divers at a depth of about 20 m below sea level along the northern coast of the island. The geophysical data suggest that the freshwater lens has a maximum thickness of 20 m in the southern half of the island. The freshwater lens is not thickest at the center of the island but nearer the southwestern edge in Quaternary deposits and the eastern edge of the island in the Tertiary carbonates. This finding indicates that the ground-water flow paths on Isla de Mona are not radially symmetrical from the center of the island to the ocean. The asymmetry of the freshwater lens indicates that the differences in hydraulic conductivity are a major factor in determining the shape of the freshwater lens. The porosity of the aquifer, as determined by the geophysical data is about 33%.

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